National Road photograph   Save
National Road photograph
Description: This image is a photograph of an illustration showing a work crew spreading a macadam surface on the National Road. A caption under the image reads: "1906-Bituminous macadam experiments." A macadam surface consists of a layer or layers of crushed rock of a fairly uniform size laid over a leveled road bed. The rock layer is bound together by a crust that forms a driving surface and that also sheds water. In this image the driving surface is made of bitumin (also called asphalt). The National Road (also called the Cumberland Road or the U.S. Road) was the first federally sponsored roadway. The U.S. Congress commissioned the National Road in 1806 as a conduit to the West, linking the Potomac River and Cumberland, Maryland, to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Mississippi River. The road opened Ohio and the Northwest Territory to settlement and trade with the eastern U.S. By 1838 the Cumberland Road had reached Springfield, Ohio; three years later it reached Vandalia, Illiinois, where construction stopped due to a funding shortfall. By this time the railroads had attracted travelers and business shipping away from the National Road, and the project was abandoned. The National Road crossed the state of Ohio along what is now U.S. 40. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL05822
Subjects: Cumberland Road--History; National Road; Transportation--Ohio--History; Roads; Macadam; Roads--Design and construction; Ohio Economy--Transportation and Development
Places: National Road photograph